AMPHIBIAWEB
Amnirana lemairei
Lemaire's white-lipped frog
family: Ranidae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Angola, Congo, Zambia

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

The specific epithet lemairei refers to the Lemaire Mission, a zoological expedition to the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), that collected the type specimen of this species (de Witte, 1921).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Summary

Hylarana lemairei is a medium-sized frog with a stocky body and a moderately pointed snout. It is primarily brown in color with some darker brown spots. Two golden-brown ridges extend along the sides of the back, bordering a brown band that reaches from the head to the leg, and the upper lip is white as in other members of its genus. It is believed to live in permanent water bodies and reproduce primarily at the end of the wet season and beginning of the dry season.


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

Hylarana lemairei has been found in northern Angola, northern Zambia, and the adjacent southern and southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (Perret, 1977; Channing, 2001).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

Vomerine teeth are well developed in this species, and they occur in short, oblique rows that are largely separated from each other, extending from between the choanae to the posterior borders of the same (de Witte, 1921). In this way, the vomerine tooth rows are equidistant from each other and the choanae (Schmidt and Inger, 1959). The head is as long as it is wide, and it is highly depressed. The snout is truncated and extends considerably past the mouth anteriorly. The snout is 1 1/2 times as long as the eye. The canthus rostralis is straight and rather prominent. The frenal region is slightly oblique and deeply concave. The nostril is farther from the eye than it is from the tip of the snout. The distance between the nostrils is equal to the interorbital distance, which in turn is equal to the width of the upper eyelid (de Witte, 1921). The tympanum is very distinct, with diameter less than or equal to that of the eye and three times the distance between it and the eye (de Witte, 1921; Schmidt and Inger, 1959). The fingers are rather long and end in small but distinct discs that are longer than they are wide, very slightly wider than the penultimate phalanx, and with a transversal diameter less than half of that of the tympanum. The adhesive pad of the disc is horseshoe-shaped (de Witte, 1921). The tips of the outer fingers and all of the toes have circummarginal horizontal grooves (Schmidt and Inger, 1959). The first finger is slightly longer than the second, and the third is much longer than the snout. Subarticular tubercles are small but rather prominent. The hind limb is rather slender. The tibio-tarsal joint reaches the eye, and when the thighs are placed at a right angle to the axis of the body, the heels barely overlap. The tibia is 3 1/2 times as long as it is wide, and its length is half of the snout-vent length. The tibia is longer than the foot, and much shorter than the forelimb. The toes also have small, little-developed discs that resemble those of the fingers. The webbing reaches the discs on the third and fifth toes, although two phalanges on the fifth toe are free. The external metatarsals are separated almost all the way to the base. Subarticular tubercles are rather large and prominent. There is also an oval-shaped internal metatarsal tubercle measuring one-third of the length of the internal toe, and a round external metatarsal tubercle that is so small it is barely visible. There is no tarsal fold (de Witte, 1921).

The dorsal skin is granular, dotted with glandules behind the sacrum and on the flanks. There is a large, glandular dorsolateral fold, extending from behind the eye to near the cloaca, where it narrows. The shortest distance between the glandular dorsolateral folds is about one-seventh of the snout-vent length. Another glandular fold runs from below the eye to the shoulder. Ventral surfaces are smooth from the chin to the pectoral girdle, then with strong transversal folds all the way to the pubis. The hind limbs are smooth, although the posterior half of the thighs is granular. This frog is colored blackish brown dorsally. The upper lip and the flanks are lighter brown, as are the thighs, which are ornamented with several blackish brown transversal bands. Ventral surfaces are lighter brown, although the undersides of the limbs have blackish brown spots (de, Witte 1921).

In specimens preserved in alcohol, the dorsum is slate gray and may contain small, irregular dark spots. The flanks are blackish and the venter is whitish, although the latter may darken in adults, especially the throat and the chest. A white streak on the upper lip extends to the groin in juveniles; in adults this streak may end near the axilla or it may be completely obscured. The dorsal and lateral surfaces may be scattered throughout with white spinules, which vary in number but may be more numerous and strongly developed in males than in females (Schmidt and Inger, 1959).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

The snout-vent length of the holotype of this species is 50 mm. The head is as long (18 mm) as it is wide. The snout is 7 mm long. The diameter of the eye (5 mm) is equal to the interorbital distance and the diameter of the tympanum. The forelimb is 31 mm long. The first finger is 8 mm long, the second finger is 7 mm long, the third finger is 10 mm long, and the fourth finger is 7 mm long. The hindlimb is 85 mm long, with the tibia comprising 29 mm. The foot is 24 mm long. The third toe is 14 mm long, the fourth toe is 21 mm long, and the fifth toe is 16 mm long (de Witte, 1921).

In general, adult female Hylarana lemairei range in snout-vent length from 50.8-75.5 mm with a mean of 63.7 mm (n = 87). Males are shorter, ranging from 38.2-66.3 mm with a mean of 53.2 mm (n = 119). The foot, measured from the base of the inner metatarsal tubercle to the tip of the fourth toe, ranges from 47-49% of the snout-vent length (Schmidt and Inger 1959).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

Hylarana lemairei can be distinguished from its close relative Hylarana albolabris by the smaller size of its eyes and the discs on its fingers and toes. In particular, the diameter of the eye of H. lemairei is less than or equal to that of the tympanum and the discs are only slightly wider than the penultimate phalanges; the eyes and discs of H. albolabris are larger. Compared to H. albolabris, H. lemairei has a wider glandular dorsolateral line and brown ventral coloration (de Witte, 1921). Schmidt and Inger (1959) confirmed that H. lemairei has smaller finger discs and a darker ventral coloration than H. albolabris, but did not find evidence that the two species differed in the size of the eye or the dorsolateral line. According to Channing (2001), this species can be distinguished from the nearby relatives H. parkeriana, H. galamensis, and H. darlingi by the presence of its finger and toe disks and its internarial distance, which is more than 1.5 times the distance between the snout and the nostril (this distance is shorter in the other species).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

Schmidt and Inger (1959) report that Hylarana lemairei and H. albolabris live primarily in rain forests. However, H. albolabris has also been documented from nearby savannas, coffee plantations, grassy swamps, water holes, and low vegetation (Schmidt and Inger, 1959). Channing (2001) reports that Hylarana lemairei lives in permanent bodies of water. It has also been found in riparian forests in savannas, primarily in upland habitats (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Population Biology

This species is thought to be abundant in appropriate habitats within its range (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

Male Hylarana lemairei have several secondary sexual characteristics that are likely involved in courtship or mating. These include paired subgular vocal sacs that open relatively far posteriorly in the throat and a large, flat oval gland on the upper arm. The first finger has a grayish, velvety nuptial pad extending to the end of the metacarpal dorsally but reaching or surpassing the end of the basal phalanx on the medial side of the finger. Mating likely occurs primarily between April and June although it may extend as late as August; this time frame coincides with the end of the wet season and the beginning of the dry season (Schmidt and Inger, 1959).

In males of this species, the vocal sac develops before the humeral glands, which in turn develop before the nuptial pads. The nuptial pads may become less developed outside of mating season (Schmidt and Inger, 1959).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Tadpole morphology

One tadpole examined by Schmidt and Inger (1959) has a snout-vent length of 22.0 mm and a tail length of 37.0 mm. The hind limbs in this specimen are almost completely developed and have two metatarsal tubercles, fully webbed toes, and small toe disks. The body is subspherical with the sinistral spiracle slightly closer to the eye than to the vent. The upper tail fin is somewhat deeper than the muscle. The body and tail (in preservative) are pale brown with dark brown spots; on the tail the spots are nearly completely confined to the muscle. The oral disk is subterminal, and the labial tooth formula is I:4+4/1+1:II. A staggered, uninterrupted double row of papillae extends across the posterior lip and over the lateral quarters of the upper lip. The papillae remain in two rows at the corners of the oral disk. The beaks are weak with feeble serrations, and they are creamy white basally and brownish near the edges. A black edge is present only on the anterior beak. The strong brown spots on the tail remain present even in later developmental stages in which the tail has been partially resorbed (Schmidt and Inger, 1959). The body of the tadpole is robust and covered with “very interesting glandular patches arranged in specific patterns” (Channing, 2001).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List (2004) categorizes this species as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Trends

Populations of this species are believed to be stable (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

This species is widely distributed in an area of limited human impact, and so it is unlikely to be significantly threatened (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

This species occurs in the Upemba National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo), and probably in several other protected areas (Channing and Poynton, 2004).


Author: Dietterich, Lee
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/